I am a senior Assistant Professor at the Section of Spatial Planning and Strategy of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment (Bouwkunde) of the Delft University of Technology, TU Delft (The Netherlands).
My main efforts of research are into GOVERNANCE, SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY and SPATIAL JUSTICE as both FRAMEWORKS and TOOLS that enable planners and designers to elaborate strategies to achieve sustainable and fair urban development. Since the publication of the New Urban Agenda in Quito (2016), I have been working with UN-Habitat to integrate the New Urban Agenda into education.
Governance, social sustainability and spatial justice are frameworks for understanding and tools for acting.
SPATIAL JUSTICE refers to the promotion of access to public goods, basic services, culture, economic opportunity and healthy environments through fair and inclusive spatial planning and management of urban and rural spaces and resources.
This is crucial in order to promote more equitable and socially sustainable societies and to promote the full realisation of human potentials.
In order to understand aspects of Spatial Justice and the links between informal urbanisation and processes of democratisation, I am editing a book together with Jan Ballegooijen on the “Political Meaning of Informal Urbanisation“.
This is a crucial topic, because urbanisation processes in the Global South are accelerating dramatically. Most of this new urbanisation is happening informally, that is, outside planning frameworks and mostly outside the rule of law. Although informal urbanisation can be seen as the expression of the entrepreneurship of the poor and their will to be in the city, it is also the physical expression of social and economic exclusion and the failure of the rule of law in providing universal positive rights to all citizens. In other words, informal urbanisation is often the expression of exclusion of citizenship and the rule of law that protects citizens. We are investigating how informal urbanisation is connected to struggles for inclusion in the city and in structures of citizenship. Informal urbanisation has a political meaning and we are exploring it IN CONTEXT, working with authors from all over the world to give us their accounts. This book is peer-reviewed and will be published by Routledge. You can see details about the project HERE.